I had confessed it over and over again; the spirit of pride and control that seemed to rule my heart. I was overwhelmed about many things: family life, new challenges and even the election and I found myself asking the Lord for specific ways to sort it all out. Then, I caught myself! "Stop telling God how to work," I scolded myself. "Why am I so controlling?" It hit me. I didn't really want control; I was afraid. Actually, terrified may be a better way to describe what I was feeling. I started to look at my pattern of (what I had thought) was control.
Something difficult would be on the horizon and I would feel that if I prayed for a specific solution, perhaps the I would be spared the pain of that difficulty. I didn't really want to control anything, but the pain that was fast approaching. I was just afraid.
Often we hear the fear is a lack of trust in God, but I don't think this is always true. I have lived long enough to understand that God is in control. He has a plan that is much better than the one I have envisioned and He will fulfill His promise to make good from all things for those who trust in Him. What I was experiencing was a fear of knowing that sometimes God allows quite a lot of pain before the change comes. It's more like the labor pains with your second child, that moment you think to yourself, "Oh, I forgot it was gonna hurt like this. I'm scared to go through this again, but I trust I will have a beautiful baby at the end and I know it's worth it." Trust doesn't always spare us from fear.
My husband, a physician, likes to remind me that fear can be healthy. Fear helps us to stay alert, to focus on the big picture and even helps us to avoid making mistakes over and over again. One pain that I often suffer, is when I try to reconcile situations that are not healthy for me. It wasn't until a priest pointed out to me in Confession that being a good Christian and showing charity, doesn't mean putting myself in a threatening (dangerous) position repeatedly. He became quite firm with me, "How many times are you going to touch that stove to see if you will still get burned?" He questioned. In retrospect, I wonder if he would have been amused had I answered, "Seven times seventy." Maybe not, still, his point was well taken.
A spirit of fear is still something I need to overcome, no matter how legitimate it may seem. Jesus was afraid of what He would endure (as he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemene) prior to His Passion, however, He found the courage to accept God's will. Perhaps, Jesus trusted, not that the, "cup would pass," but that the Father would give Him the strength to endure the coming pain. This is the trust that I need to develop.
"The good news is that everything doesn't depend on me and there are some things beyond my control. God is in charge and accepting that always brings me great peace. I have learned to do my best and let God do the rest!"
Sometimes, God is going to say to me, "This is gonna hurt." I will accept that. I too will work on trusting God as I walk through the valley, not just in trusting Him with the end result: reaching the mountain.
Copyright 2016 Mary Lou Rosien
About the Author
Mary Lou Rosien is a Catholic wife, mom to seven, educator, writer, and speaker. She is the author of several books including Three Things Divorced Catholics need to Know and The Joy-Filled Broken Heart. She is known for her love of all things cooking and baking, especially “Friday cookies.” Visit her at CatholicFamilyBootCamp.com.